When Abigail Thomas's husband, Rich, was hit by a car, his brain shattered. Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations, he must live the rest of his life in an institution. He has no memory of what he did the hour, the day, the year before. This tragedy is the ground on which Abigail had to build a new life. How she built that life is a story of great courage and great change, of moving to a small country town, of a new family composed of three dogs, knitting, and friendship, of facing down guilt and discovering gratitude. It is also about her relationship with Rich, a man who lives in the eternal present, and the eerie poetry of his often uncanny perceptions. This wise, plainspoken, beautiful book enacts the truth Abigail discovered in the five years since the accident: You might not find meaning in disaster, but you might, with effort, make something useful of it.
Through a Window is the dramatic saga of thirty years in the life of an intimately intertwined community--one that reads like a novel, but is one of the most important scientific works ever published.The community is Gombe, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, where the principal residents are chimpanzees and one extraordinary woman who is their student, protector, and historian.In her classic In the Shadow of Man, Jane Goodall wrote of her first ten years at Gombe. In Through a Window she brings the story up to the present, painting a more complete and vivid portrait of our closest relatives.We watch young Figan’s relentless rise to power and old Mike’s crushing defeat. We learn how one mother rears her children to succeed and another dooms hers to failure.We witness horrifying murders, touching moments of affection, joyous births, and wrenching deaths. In short, we see every emotion known to humans stripped to its essence. In the mirror of chimpanzee life, we see ourselves reflected.
@90@@90@A@95@#160;sci-fi murder@95@#160;mystery set on a mysterious planet, with a twist ending that leaves the reader wondering just what they@95@#8217;ve been witnessing the whole time.@91@ Delmak-O is a dangerous planet. Though there are only fourteen citizens, no one can trust anyone else and death can strike at any moment. The planet is vast and largely unexplored, populated mostly by gelatinous cube-shaped beings that give cryptic advice in the form of anagrams. Deities can be spoken to directly via a series of prayer amplifiers and transmitters, but they may not be happy about it. And the mysterious building in the distance draws all the colonists to it, but when they get there each sees a different motto on the front. The mystery of this structure and the secrets contained within drive this mind-bending novel.@91@
This satirical adventure from Philip K. Dick deals with issues of power, class, and politics, set in a world ruled by big-brained elites. But one man went to space to find help, and now he is returning with it--a giant, indestructible alien blob.
"A funny, horribly accurate portrait of a life in California in the Fifties."--Rolling StoneJack Isidore doesn't see the world like most people. According to his brother-in-law Charlie, he’s a crap artist, obsessed with his own bizarre theories and ideas, which he fanatically records in his many notebooks. He is so grossly unequipped for real life that his sister and brother-in-law feel compelled to rescue him from it. But while Fay and Charlie Hume put on a happy face for the world, they prove to be just as sealed off from reality, in thrall to obsessions that are slightly more acceptable than Jack's but a great deal uglier. Their constant fighting and betrayals threaten their own marriage and the relationships of everyone around them. When they bring Jack into their home, he finds himself in the middle of a maelstrom of suburban angst from which he might not be able to escape.Confessions of a Crap Artist is one of Philip K. Dick's most accomplished novels, and the only non–science fiction novel published in his lifetime.
Following an inexplicable urge, Ted Barton returns to his idyllic Virginia hometown for a vacation, but when he gets there, he is shocked to discover that the town has utterly changed. The stores and houses are all different and he doesn't recognize anybody. The mystery deepens when he checks the town's historical records . . . and reads that he died nearly twenty years earlier. As he attempts to uncover the secrets of the town, Barton is drawn deeper into the puzzle, and into a supernatural battle that could decide the fate of the universe.
Ragle Gumm believes he lives in the 1950s and makes his living by making accurate predictions in a newspaper contest. But when he begins having hallucinations, it appears as if his world may not be what it seems, and in the contest he may be predicting something far more consequential. Time Out of Joint is Philip K. Dick at his twisty, paranoid best.
Set in the middle of the twenty-first century, The Simulacra is the story of an America where the whole government is a fraud and the President is an android. Against this backdrop, Dr. Superb, the sole remaining psychotherapist, is struggling to practice in a world full of the maladjusted. Ian Duncan is desperately in love with the first lady, Nicole Thibideaux, who he has never met. Richard Kongrosian refuses to see anyone because he is convinced his body odor is lethal. And the fascistic Berthold Goltz is trying to overthrow the government. With wonderful aplomb, Philip K. Dick brings this story to a crashing conclusion and in classic fashion shows there is always another layer of conspiracy beneath the one we see.
The Glimmung is a mysterious alien, which looks alternately like a flaming wheel, a teenage girl, and a swirling mass of ocean life. In this hilarious Philip K. Dick novel, it recruits a disparate group of humans and aliens to help it raise a ruined temple from the bottom of the ocean.
In a richly imagined, beautiful novel, an acclaimed writer gives an epic heroine her voice.In The Aeneid, Vergil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills.
Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom, until suitors come. Her mother wants her to marry handsome, ambitious Turnus. But omens and prophecies spoken by the sacred springs say she must marry a foreigner--that she will be the cause of a bitter war--and that her husband will not live long. When a fleet of Trojan ships sails up the Tiber, Lavinia decides to take her destiny into her own hands. And so she tells us what Vergil did not: the story of her life, and of the love of her life.
Lavinia is a book of passion and war, generous and austerely beautiful, from a writer working at the height of her powers.
The Left Hand of DarknessSutty, an Observer from Earth for the interstellar Ekumen, has been assigned to a new world-a world in the grips of a stern monolithic state, the Corporation. Embracing the sophisticated technology brought by other worlds and desiring to advance even faster into the future, the Akans recently outlawed the past, the old calligraphy, certain words, all ancient beliefs and ways; every citizen must now be a producer-consumer. Their state, not unlike the China of the Cultural Revolution, is one of secular terrorism. Traveling from city to small town, from loudspeakers to bleating cattle, Sutty discovers the remnants of a banned religion, a hidden culture. As she moves deeper into the countryside and the desolate mountains, she learns more about the Telling-the old faith of the Akans-and more about herself. With her intricate creation of an alien world, Ursula K. Le Guin compels us to reflect on our own recent history.
"A masterpiece."--Roberto BolañoWhat happens after the bombs drop? This is the troubling question Philip K. Dick addresses with Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb. It is the story of a world reeling from the effects of nuclear annihilation and fallout, a world where mutated humans and animals are the norm, and the scattered survivors take comfort from a disc jockey endlessly circling the globe in a broken-down satellite. And hidden amongst the survivors is Dr. Bloodmoney himself, the man responsible for it all. This bizarre cast of characters cajole, seduce, and backstab in their attempts to get ahead in what is left of the world, consequences and casualties be damned. A sort of companion to Dr. Strangelove, an unofficial and unhinged sequel, Dick’s novel is just as full of dark comedy and just as chilling.
"The writing is humorous, painful, awesome in its effect on both mind and heart . . . There are few modern novels to match it."--Rolling StoneOn an arid Mars, local bigwigs compete with Earth-bound interlopers to buy up land before the UN develops it and its value skyrockets. Martian Union leader Arnie Kott has an ace up his sleeve, though: an autistic boy named Manfred who seems to have the ability to see the future. In the hopes of gaining an advantage on a Martian real estate deal, powerful people force Manfred to send them into the future, where they can learn about development plans. But is Manfred sending them to the real future or one colored by his own dark and paranoid filter? As the time travelers are drawn into Manfred's dark worldview in both the future and present, the cost of doing business may drive them all insane.
In Affairs at Thrush Green, Miss Read continues the fortunes of the Thrush Green families whom we last met in Gossip from Thrush Green. Here we follow the kindly vicar, Charles Henstock, to the neighboring Lulling, after his home was burned to the ground at the end of the earlier novel. Going to a new church is never easy, even in the best of times; indeed, poor Dr. Henstock encounters some very redoubtable females in Lulling. A full-scale power struggle erupts over the question of kneeling cushions for the Lady Chapel, and other difficulties revolve around the crotchety old sexton Albert Piggott.
Meanwhile, a mysterious stranger arrives at the Fuschia Bush cafe, and its rivalry with the Two Pheasants becomes more acute. One knows, however, that Miss Read will make all come right in the end.
It is spring in the village of Thrush Green. In neighboring Lulling, Charles Henstock admires the blooming garden of his new vicarage, glad that the squabbles with his parishoners in Affairs at Thrush Green are settled. And yet the good vicar wistfully recalls his former home - the ugly, old rectory of Thrush Green, which burned to the ground. Now, from the rectory's ruins, the villagers are building eight retirement homes for the older folks most in need. But how to choose who will live there? How will they get on together? And how will they accommodate the dogs, cats, and birds that must come along? The spring has brought a new crop of dilemmas, but Dr. Henstock and the villagers are determined to make the old people feel at home in Thrush Green.
In the end, harmony is restored to this tiny fictional world. With wit and grace, Miss Read has charmed numerous critics and won the loyalty of readers who will happily find themselves once more At Home in Thrush Green.
When two beloved primary school teachers, Miss Dorothy and Miss Agnes, decide to retire, the townspeople are aflutter, musing about the teachers' replacements and seeking an appropriate farewell gift.
VILLAGE CENTENARY welcomes us back to Miss Read's cozy downland village just in time for the one hundredth anniversary of Fairacre School. Miss Clare, who was a pupil and later a teacher there, points out that such a centenary should be celebrated, and all of Fairacre is quick to offer suggestions -- from a tea party to a full-scale pageant. Deciding how best to stage the grand occasion, however, is only of Miss Read's problems. The ancient skylight in the school is leaking, and Mr. Willetts fears that replacing it will be a difficult job. The new teacher, Miss Briggs, fresh from college and full of idealistic theories, proves a thorn in Miss Read's side. The vicar has decided to keep bees. Miriam Quinn is afraid she might have to leave home. And Mrs. Pringle is her usual dour self. But the seasons continue to change, and the centenary year unfolds with its hopes and fears, its memories and forecasts, its friendships and feuds. VILLAGE CENTENARY marks yet another delightful year in the company of our favorite Fairacre friends.
Open the gate to Fairacre, America's favorite English village.
The English village of Fairacre may appear idyllically peaceful to passersby, but those who live among its shady lanes always have problems to untangle. When a terrible rumor emerges -- that the Fairacre School is to be closed and the children bused to nearby Beech Green -- the village is up in arms at once. The schoolmistress, Miss Read, suffers agonizing indecision at the prospect, and her situation is made worse when her infants' room teacher decides to leave and the short-tempered Mrs. Pringle becomes more contrary than ever.
Ansul was once a peaceful town filled with libraries, schools, and temples. But that was long ago, and the conquerors of this coastal city consider reading and writing to be acts punishable by death. And they believe the Oracle House, where the last few undestroyed books are hidden, is seething with demons. But to seventeen-year-old Memer, the house is the only place where she feels truly safe. Then an Uplands poet named Orrec and his wife, Gry, arrive, and everything in Memer's life begins to change. Will she and the people of Ansul at last be brave enough to rebel against their oppressors?
@90@@2@@31@@95@ldquo;We were peering into this darkness, criss-crossed with voices, when the change took place: the only real, great change I@12@ve ever happened to witness, and compared to it the rest is nothing.@95@rdquo; @95@mdash; from@95@#160;@28@The Complete Cosmicomics@018@@32@@87@@16@ Italo Calvino@12@s beloved cosmicomics cross planets and traverse galaxies, speed up time or slow it down to the particles of an instant. Through the eyes of an ageless guide named Qfwfq, Calvino explores natural phenomena and tells the story of the origins of the universe. Poignant, fantastical, and wise, these thirty-four dazzling stories @95@mdash; collected here in one definitive anthology @95@mdash; relate complex scientific and mathematical concepts to our everyday world. They are an indelible (and unfailingly delightful) literary achievement.@87@@16@ @95@ldquo;Nimble and often hilarious . . . Trying to describe such a diverse and entertaining mix, I have to admit, just as Calvino does so often, that my words fail here, too. There@12@s no way I @95@mdash; or anyone, really @95@mdash; can muster enough of them to quite capture the magic of these stories . . . Read this book, please.@95@rdquo; @95@mdash; Colin Dwyer, NPR@3@@91@@87@
This unusual fictional account, in good part autobiographical, narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-out of two great cities. In the tales of both cities we learn some sobering Orwellian truths about poverty and society.